As some of you know my liver enzymes have been elevated. So I’m still plugging along with the diet and exercise. I’ve continued to lose about two pounds a week. Except, I’m sorry to say, when we were on vacation in Tennessee. During that week I gained about three pounds. This week, I have been very tired and struggled to stay on the 1200 calories that I have been allotted. But here it is Thursday and I can happily say that I’m still sticking with it and feel like I’m on the right path.
Monday I had my first appointment with the gastroenterologist about my “fatty liver”. He asked a ton of questions. Here are a few:
Do you take any herbal supplements?
Do you bruise easily?
Do you have any rashes?
Do you have a family history of cancer?
Do you have a family history of any liver disease?
Do you have asthma
How many alcoholic beverages do you consume a week?
Has anyone in your family been diagnosed with any mental illness?
Do you have any hobbies? Ones that would expose you to chemicals?
Dr. Huggins was a very personable and friendly. I had an easy time talking to him and being honest. I did tell him that my paternal grandfather died from cirrhosis of the liver, but that it was from being an alcoholic. He focused a little more attention on my alcohol intake, but seemed satisfied with my answers. He told me that changes in the liver occur slowly, that these changes do not happen overnight. He also said that lots of things that they have learned about the liver recently has been learned from bariatric patients. They are seeing more and more fatty livers because of diet. This doesn’t happen over a couple of months, but rather a long time lifestyle.
He also told me that the liver enzymes become elevated when the cells in the liver actually burst and the enzymes enter the blood stream. Over time, if not corrected, this can cause scar tissue in the liver and eventually cirrhosis of the liver. He was very happy that I had already started the process of correcting my diet and that I had already lost 18 pounds. He also encouraged me to walk at least one mile, five times a week.
This morning I had blood drawn to rule out any other diseases that might affect the liver. Some of these are Lupus, Wilson disease, Celiac, and a few other mainly autoimmune diseases. It’s my understanding that there isn’t a test that will tell that someone has a fatty liver. The process is to rule out any other disease that may affect the liver. While reading up on “fatty liver disease”, that once every thing else is ruled out, that the doctor may want to do a biopsy of the liver to determine the extent of damage done to the liver. I was aware of that possibility also from my primary care physician. Dr. Huggins didn’t mention it and I didn’t ask.
I’ll leave you with this, if you are eating mainly fast food, restaurant food, frozen food, prepared food, processed foods, you might want to rethink what you are doing to your body. There are chemicals and lots of sugar in all of these things. The best thing you can do for yourself and your family is fill your refrigerator with fresh fruits and vegetables and cook for them.